By Grahame Anderson

Students have received GCSE results assessed by teachers and lecturers showing 78.8 per cent graded 4 or better across the board.

The results follow on from the decision to ditch the controversial algorithm involved in the A level fiasco of the last few days. It means everyone can now be clear on the outcome, apart from those awaiting BTEC results. The board supervising technical and vocational qualifications, ‘Pearson’, made a last minute decision on Wednesday to re-grade to ““address concerns about unfairness”.

Now, 450,000 students will receive revised marks to bring them in line with A-Levels at a later date.

Increase In Top Grades

In terms of teenagers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland their GCSE top grades increased generally, with 26.6 per cent awarded a 7 or above, equivalent to the old grading system changed in 2017 of A or A*. This compares with figures of 21.7 per cent when exams were able to be taken last year – a rise of 5.7 per cent.

English And Maths

England alone saw a dramatic rise in grades for both English and maths with more than 80 per cent achieving a grade 4 or pass grade, almost 10 per cent more than last year. A total of 23.5 per cent achieved a top grade 7 in English compared with 17. 5 per cent in 2019.

When it comes to maths 77.2 students were given a pass with 24.3 per cent securing the top grade.

In fact, The percentage of exams graded level 9 generally – the top mark – has increased by 40 per cent, from 4.5 per cent last year to 6.3 per cent in 2020.


Ofqual however, have been at pains to point out the two years are not comparable.

There was a warning from Chairman of the Independent Schools Council Barnaby Lenon who said: “There is a concern some pupils will now qualify to take A-levels which they are not really suited to.

Subjects like maths – where every school requires a minimum GCSE grade for students who want to take A-level – will be a particular challenge.

They do that because they know from experience that if you can’t get a 7 in maths GCSE, you will often end up with a D in maths A-level.”

This in the light of confirmation on Thursday, Official A-level grades have shown a huge increase in youngsters earning top marks.

Upgraded A levels

Figures from UCAS reveal 160,000 A-Level students were upgraded with 15,000 getting a place at their first choice university.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said those receiving their GCSE results today should feel “incredibly proud” of what they have achieved “in the face of immense challenge and uncertainty”.

He added: “This is an exciting day and young people now can look forward to taking their next steps, whether that is returning to schools and colleges in September to do A-levels or our brand new T-levels, or taking one of the many other routes available like starting an apprenticeship.

“I also want to pay a special tribute to teachers and school leaders this year who have shown dedication, resilience and ingenuity to support their students to get to this moment.”

Bradford Focus

Dr Simon Hinchliffe, headmaster at Bradford Grammar, said: “We’re extremely proud of our students and their achievements and today is chance to celebrate their hard work and determination.

It is also an opportunity to applaud the resilience and fortitude they have shown during the most unusual of school years.”

Cllr Imran khan, Bradford Council’s executive member for education, employment and skills, said: “Results days are nerve-wracking at the best of times but especially so for this year’s students who have seen their schools close, their exams cancelled and faced uncertainty about how their grades would be allocated.

All our colleges have admissions staff waiting to speak to school leavers and advise them how to get on the right course for their chosen career path.

There is also free careers advice available from Connexions Bradford, who can be contacted via Facebook, by calling 01274 377800 or emailing

So, the message to school leavers is, whatever the news this results day, don’t panic – there are plenty of doors open to you and lots of support to help you make the right decisions for your future.”

Labour Statement

Kate Green MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Education, has said Today marks the culmination of years of hard work by young people across the country. I congratulate them on everything that they have achieved, and wish them the best as they move on to the next stage of their education or training.

But the reality is that many of these young people will have faced huge stress in recent days, as the government’s incompetent and chaotic handling of the results fiasco left them concerned about their futures.

This incompetence must come to an end. The government must urgently ensure that every young person, including those studying BTECs, get the grades they deserve quickly and do not lose out on any further stage of their education because of this government’s incompetence.”